Legume Ham Salad

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Legume Ham Salad is the perfect salad for a family picnic or to make ahead for a potluck. A perfect make ahead recipe that tastes great.

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Served cold it is a perfect summertime dish. But can be enjoyed any time of year.

Legume Ham Salad in a Fancy Glass Cup
Legume Ham Salad

Pasta Salad Side Dish

I love a good pasta salad. They can fit into just about any occasion. They are great for picnics and cookouts, but they can also fit in with holiday food spreads as well.

From picnics to potlucks, this blend of tender pasta salad with ham, cheese and other vegetables will be a sure crowd pleaser!

What is Legume Pasta?

It is a gluten-free pasta that is made from legumes like chickpea, lentil, black bean, and edamame. This seems to be one of the latest trends in “health” food.

Adding Cooked and Cooled Legume Pasta to Salad
Adding Cooked and Cooled Legume Pasta to Salad

What Does Legume Pasta Taste Like?

It has a rather mild and slightly nutty flavor. This pasta does taste a bit different than regular pasta; however, in some recipes, such as this one, it adds to the hearty flavor profile.

Legume-Pasta
Legume-Pasta

Does Legume Pasta Get Mushy?

It can get mushy if over-cooked. Therefore, when cooking the gluten free pasta, I tend to check it before the cooking time is up. I take it off the heat when it is al dente.

Gluten Free Pasta from Lentils
Gluten Free Pasta from Lentils

How to Cook Gluten-Free Pasta

To avoid any issues with the legume pasta, make sure to add the pasta to water that is at a rolling boil.

Stir the pasta regularly to prevent the pieces from sticking together.

I start testing the pasta a few minutes earlier than the recommended time to prevent it from becoming mushy.

Cook until just al dente. Al Dente is when the pasta is just a bit firm when bitten.

Picnic Ham and Pasta Salad Recipe
Picnic Ham and Pasta Salad Recipe

Classic Pasta Recipe

This really is a classic pasta recipe that uses legume pasta rather than regular pasta. The mayonnaise dressing fits in perfectly with this dish.

The slightly nutty legume flavor mixed with the freshness of the sweet peas, the saltiness of the ham, the crunchy bites from the diced onion, and the soft feel of the cheese is a symphony of tastes and textures in your mouth.

What You Will Need

  • Gluten-Free Pasta, cooked and drained
  • Chopped ham
  • Peas
  • Cheese
  • Diced onion
  • Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise
  • Sugar
  • Lemon
  • Milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Legume Ham Salad
Legume Ham Salad

Legume Ham Salad Variations

Like all great recipes, this one can be added and subtracted from.

  • Use frozen mixed vegetables rather than just sweet peas
  • Swap out the Miracle Whip for mayonnaise
  • Add diced bell peppers
  • Any type of onion works for this recipe, yellow, white, red, sweet Vidalia
  • Swap out the ham for thin sliced deli chicken, turkey, or salami. All are great choices. Easy one will add a new and distinct flavor.
Ham Pea and Lentil Side Dish
Ham Pea and Lentil Side Dish

Tips on How to Make an Easy Pasta Salad

Make salad ahead- I like to make the salad the day before or at least 1-2 hours ahead of time. This gives all the ingredients time to meld together and amps up the flavor profile of this simple dish.

Pasta shells- Though you can use any pasta for this salad recipe. Today, I used the legume gluten-free pasta. They add an appeal to the salad and perform so well with the remaining ingredients.

Cut uniform sizes- Be sure to cut the ham and cheese in uniform sizes and the onion should be diced fine. This will help assure that you get a taste of all the ingredients in each bite.

Be careful not to overcook the pasta– Overcooked pasta will become mushy and unpleasant in the salad. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse under cold water to keep it from sticking together.

Homemade salad dressing- The dressing can also be made ahead and kept refrigerated. You can tweak the dressing with more milk for a thinner consistency if desired. 

Pasta Side Salad Recipe
Pasta Side Salad Recipe

Can Gluten-Free Salad Be Made in Advance?

Yes, it can. This can be made up to two days in advance. However, when you get to day three or four, I find that the legume pasta tends to start to break down and get a bit grainy tasting.

Therefore, it is best to eat this pasta salad within 1-2 days of making it.

Can You Freeze Legume Pasta?

I would not freeze this fresh pasta salad.

Like other pasta and rice dishes, the pasta can break down in the freezer. Additionally, the salad dressing consistency will change when frozen. Therefore, due to the consistency changes in the ingredients of this salad, I do not recommend freezing this.

Legume Ham Salad in a Fancy Glass Cup
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5 from 1 vote

Legume Ham Salad

Legume Ham Salad is the perfect salad for a family picnic or to make ahead for a potluck. A perfect make ahead recipe that tastes great.
Served cold it is a perfect summertime dish. But can be enjoyed any time of year.
Pasta Salad Side Dish
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Salad Dressing, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cold salad, gluten free pasta, Pasta, picnic food, side dish, summer recipe
Servings: 12 Servings
Calories: 336kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium Onion Diced
  • 13 ounces Sweet Peas
  • 16 ounces Smoked Ham Thin sliced and diced
  • 2 Cups Dried Gluten Free Pasta Cooked
  • 4 ounces Mild Cheddar cheese Shredded
  • 4 ounces Mild Brick cheese Diced

Salad Dressing

  • 1 1/2 Cups Mayonnaise
  • 2 TBL. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp. Pepper

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Rinse well with cold water until pasta is cold. Place cooked and cooled pasta in a large mixing or serving bowl.
  • Thaw the frozen vegetables or dice up the fresh vegetables of your choosing. Add to the cooled pasta along with the ham and cheese.
    Adding Cooked and Cooled Legume Pasta to Salad
  • In another bowl, whisk together all salad dressing ingredients and pour over pasta and other ingredients.
    Making Salad Dressing
  • Gently fold in dressing until all ingredients are evenly coated. This can be covered and stored in the refrigerator up to two days.
    Adding Salad Dressing to the Ham Salad

Video

Notes

Legume Ham Salad Variations 

Like all great recipes, this one can be added and subtracted from.
• Use frozen mixed vegetables rather than just sweet peas
• Swap out the Miracle Whip for mayonnaise
• Add diced bell peppers
• Any type of onion works for this recipe, yellow, white, red, sweet Vidalia
• Swap out the ham for thin sliced deli chicken, turkey, or salami. All are great choices. Easy one will add a new and distinct flavor.

Tips on How to Make an Easy Pasta Salad

Make salad ahead- I like to make the salad the day before or at least 1-2 hours ahead of time. This gives all the ingredients time to meld together and amps up the flavor profile of this simple dish.
Pasta shells- Though you can use any pasta for this salad recipe. Today, I used the legume gluten-free pasta. They add an appeal to the salad and perform so well with the remaining ingredients.
Cut uniform sizes- Be sure to cut the ham and cheese in uniform sizes and the onion should be diced fine. This will help assure that you get a taste of all the ingredients in each bite.
Be careful not to overcook the pasta– Overcooked pasta will become mushy and unpleasant in the salad. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse under cold water to keep it from sticking together.
Homemade salad dressing- The dressing can also be made ahead and kept refrigerated. You can tweak the dressing with more milk for a thinner consistency if desired.

Can Gluten-Free Salad Be Made in Advance?

Yes, it can. This can be made up to two days in advance. However, when you get to day three or four, I find that the legume pasta tends to start to break down and get a bit grainy tasting. Therefore, it is best to eat this pasta salad within 1-2 days of making it.

Can You Freeze Legume Pasta?

I would not freeze this fresh pasta salad. Like other pasta and rice dishes, the pasta can break down in the freezer. Additionally, the salad dressing consistency will change when frozen. Therefore, due to the consistency changes in the ingredients of this salad, I do not recommend freezing this.

Nutrition

Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 873mg | Potassium: 532mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 474IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 181mg | Iron: 4mg

Environmental Information

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I hope that you liked this recipe. If you are looking for more ideas on what to make, here are a few other recipes that you may enjoy.

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